Cook and Grill Like These Madison Food Pros

grill steak

By Shelby Rowe Moyer

The Fourth of July is already upon us, and before you reach for your typical summer dishes, we’ve got some ideas to spice up your dining — literally.

For some inspiration, we reached out to Metcalfe’s Market and Banzo for innovative ways to wow your family, as well as your taste buds.

Forget the burgers and brats, we’ve got something better.

The Main Course

Bear with us for a moment, because though this cut of beef is less than beautiful, it’s one of the most tender and delicious steaks you’ll ever have, says Dan Ford, meat manager at the Hilldale location of Metcalfe’s Market.

A hanger steak — also called the hanging tender — comes from the diaphragm, in the upper belly, of the cow. Sounds strange, we know, but trust us on this one. Grill it up with salt, pepper and garlic and sear it on the grill for a few minutes each side, and then grill it to your desired doneness.

“It’s sometimes called the butcher’s secret, and you only get a couple out of the animal,” Ford says. “The people that know what it is know it’s awesome. You don’t see a lot of them in stores, but we pride ourselves on our selection.”

Pork tenderloin is another great grilling choice. Season it yourself or opt for one of Metcalfe’s marinades, including garlic and parmesan or Door County cherries.

Want a zestier version of your typical burger? Metcalfe’s has a super tasty jalapeno pepper jack chicken burger. Prepare yourself for a new addiction.

A Side Dish

Since you’re likely going to be eating some rich, high fat or high carb foods (or both, let’s be honest), offset them with a lighter side dish.

Mediterranean restaurant Banzo concocted a yummy potato salad that’s tangier and brighter than your typical mayo-based side dish.

It’s made with tahini, which is just ground sesame seeds.

“If you were to compare it to something more familiar, sesame is like a version of peanut butter,” says Banzo head chef Stephan May. “It can add a lot of richness without being too rich. With your traditional potato salad, the flavors can be masked by the mayo. But this version balances everything out.”

Banzo served it last summer and it was a total hit. Now, you can make it yourself.

Recipe: Tahini Dijon Potato Salad

  • 1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1.5 pounds Red potatoes
  • ½ yellow onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 green scallions (thin sliced, white and green parts)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon capers

Dressing

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Start by boiling a large pot of water, and add a tablespoon of salt to the water. Chop potatoes into one-inch cubes, add to boiling water, and continue to boil potatoes rapidly until potatoes are just tender enough. Usually about 5-8 mins; be careful not to overcook.

As soon as the potatoes are ready, strain and place on a cookie sheet to cool evenly.

Make sure potatoes are completely cooled in the refrigerator before mixing, about an hour.

Once potatoes are cooling you can prepare the dressing.

Start by rolling the lemon on your cutting board to release all the juices before slicing it in half.

Juice lemon into a mixing bowl, removing any seeds that fall out.

Continue by adding the Tahini, Dijon, honey, water, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Whisk together until smooth.

Once potatoes are ready you can fold them into the dressing. Be careful not to smash or break the potatoes.

Once the potatoes are coated in dressing you can fold in the remaining ingredients, and you’re all set!

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